February at Plot 4

The year has started with unusually wet and mild weather for this time of the year. Indeed, yesterday it was announced it has been a record wet January in this part of the country. The plot is really quite damp, with our clay soil almost impossible to walk on, let alone dig, and puddles forming everywhere!

We’ve been still managing to harvest the last of the tenderstem broccoli, often used with penne, tomatoes, anchovies and chilli, in a version of this Cime di Rapa dish. As well as broccoli, we’ve been enjoying cavalo nero, chard and the final few apples. The apples were cooked and topped with a crumble like the one on the Blackberry and Apple Crumble I blogged about in the autumn.

February is the month when I’ll be starting to sow seeds with a vengeance. On the list are some more sweet peas (I started some off a few weeks ago) and celeriac. Celeriac needs a long season of growth, so will benefit from an early start in the greenhouse. I love this root, but have never grown it and am really looking forward to using it later in the year to make remoulades and soups. It’s also time to sow some more salad leaves; started in the greenhouse, but hopefully put out as the weather improves.

This month is one of the last months to get general jobs done at the plot. The tool shed is in need of a tidy and before the rush for seed trays in the Spring they need to be cleaned and organised. I also plan to use this time to finish insulating the shed, which my brother and I started last week. In true allotment style we reused some leftover insulation from my brother’s house extension, and intend to try to complete the job using reclaimed and recycled materials to skin the shed interior and protect the insulation. The final seed purchases will also be made; there are a few varieties in the Franchi Seed catalogue which I fancy giving a go this year.

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This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.